American Memorial Park site manager Chuck Sayon added another feather to his cap after being promoted to Deputy Superintendent for the National Park Service on Saipan and Guam.
Sayon confirmed his promotion yesterday morning during a brief ceremony honoring returning war veterans to Saipan. He has been with the National Park Service-assigned on Saipan-for the past 10 years.
He said he plans to improve the park's service to the community and realign its goals and mission, especially for the different divisions within his office.
As part of his new responsibilities, Sayon will still be working side by side with Sarah Creachbaum, superintendent of the American Memorial Park on Saipan and the War in the Pacific National Historical Park on Guam.
Sayon said he would be flying to Guam most of the time, especially now that the U.S. territory's visitor center was badly damaged due to a recent typhoon.
Born to Filipino parents from Bohol, the Philippines, Sayon graduated from the University of California, Hayward, with a degree in geology.
His first professional job was as a park maintenance aide for the California State Parks in San Francisco. He said his job included construction of fences, repair of buildings and structures and clearing of trails and roads. Then he became a sales coordinator for a retail dealership company in San Leandro where he coordinated the sales activities of the company.
Sayon later joined the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer in Micronesia. He said he was appointed to the Pohnpei State Economic and Development Authority, Marine Divisions in Eastern Micronesia for the first two years. He was then transferred to Seattle to work with the Peace Corps recruiting office. While there, he had to assist in organizing and conducting information campaigns for prospective volunteers at universities and communities.
From 1992 to 1996, Sayon worked as Natural Resources Management specialist, working for the National Park Service's Western Regional Office, Division of Natural Resources and Research in San Francisco. Some of his responsibilities included: overseeing the natural resources management in over 50 NPS park units in Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
In 1996, Sayon was given the opportunity to work in the CNMI as the park's site manager to oversee the development and maintenance of the beautiful, American Memorial Park.
Initially, he planned to work on the island for at least three to five years but Sayon said he had begun to enjoy the island and his 10-year tenure only proves that he has fallen in love with Saipan.
“I guess I've been captured by Saipan,” he grinned.
Celebrating his 10th year on Saipan this May 14, he is now planning whether to have a huge celebration since this year also marks his 50th birthday on Nov. 7.